tv [untitled] November 7, 2011 10:30am-11:00am EST
ski lift you can see it on there's your business you go you. will. come back this is our t.v. live from moscow now here's a recap of all her top stories a push for diplomacy russia warns an attack on iran it could have disastrous regional level questions and these are all says military action is a real possibility meanwhile the u.n. of tonic water use expected to release a report showing toronto's secretly developing nuclear weapons capability. to. fire and forget nato says it has no role in post and often libya which seems to be sinking into retribution violence and drivable is a real laws now the country's political force both former gadhafi loyalists are
allegedly being hunted down by the new authority it's. the i.m.f. dash for kremlin cash the head of the international monetary fund the visits moscow in search of support as it struggles to prop up prices here economies russia is missing the guard's first stop on the mission to the world's on the coming hours. and of a more mature dissolves court the a.b.c. is the super rich russians of legal loggerheads and love that was allowed to show another shady business dealings of the past with billions of dollars at stake. i call the kevin nolan will be here with you with more news in about thirty minutes time. cross-talk looks into the question of whether capitalism really does offer legitimate solutions to the global financial crisis that's coming your way next.
i think it's. a low in welcome to crossfire a little tough love bring are so amicable divorce for well over a generation of voters and consumers around the world we're told that democracy and capitalism are natural partners building prosperous and fair societies but is being called into question today by millions feeling of ended by the uk whole process while the same time capitalism appears to thrive a growing number of political regimes. to cross-talk that capitalism democracy tandem i'm joined by david spike out in chicago he is a professor of philosophy at layo university chicago in new york we have howard gold he's a columnist for market watch and founder of the independent agenda and in london we crossed to richard wellings he's deputy editorial director at the institute of economic affairs all right gentlemen this is cross talk that means you can jump in
anytime you want and i very much encourage it but first is the capitalism democracy tandem really on the rocks well we're certainly seeing massive amounts of discontent over the way this has been functioning and beginning at least two thousand the world and specifically its western part of the undergoing momentous changes in its financial and political system ever since the credit crunch the only undermined the global financial architecture the entire western paradigm which has for a long time was summed as one of its basic tenets the synergy between democracy and capitalism is not being seriously questioned the global occupy wall street movement is just one example of disillusionment with the promise of representative elections and the free market system. which. never was.
so widespread sense that the regime is going. through something that's just not something. there's also ample evidence that capitalism is facing its greatest challenge since the great depression of the one nine hundred thirty s. unlike other economic downturn since then today it was true capitalism has seen the financial sector of the economy rebound even flourish without need for economic growth and jobs generation this is the informant in a sentiment that elected officials are acting league with big business and corporations. and it's interests of. america is the. reason for all right now it's not worth. while millions in the arab world struggle to become part of a democratic process and millions in the west say the feel disenfranchised from a political system does little to address their grievances but as these protests
point to a system in trouble it is the asian model of capitalism that is slowly emerging as an alternative that has worked with and be able to fish and say of course it's sounds good but in practice it. always review the results and the spars economic results go history has demonstrated that capitalism is equally compatible with passion three teams of various stripes from nazi germany to right movie theater ships in south america of the one nine hundred sixty s. and seventy's so will the western paradigm which is currently showing great in science a decline to the asian model or something more formidable or will the global wave of dissent prove capable of reversing its downfall one thing is clear is that once the dust settles things will not be going back to business as usual i don't think anybody will disagree with you on that first i'd like to go to richard in london you say interests are served by the idea that free markets and democracy work together well i mean there are obviously in any democracy there are
a lot of special interest groups that arise especially since the start of the twentieth century when we've seen this drift in the political elites world socialism so as you said a huge growth in what the state does we've seen all these various vested interests rise and strengthened and that's really the problem that's why the people don't feel they've got a voice because the special interests and i was so powerful ok david what do you think about whose interests are served here because if we look at all of the protest movements all around the world we have people that are saying they just feel absolutely disenfranchised and these are industrialized developed democracies that develop democracies around the world like to preach to everyone else that democracy at home isn't doing too well either is it. well you know i have. argued that capitalism really isn't compatible with the mark we're seeing that what we have now is not really a democracy. we have we have something that i like to call poly are drawing on. a concept that was developed by
a couple you know political scientists charles and. polly arche means you have. you have multiple parties you have relatively free and fair elections you have close to universal suffrage but it's not democracy because the people really aren't solder and this is going to set up so that although there are genuine differences between parties and probably archy is a lot better than tyranny. the people aren't sovereign there is a class that has at least as much power as the elected officials that is the capitalist class that is the upper one percent and this is always been a war going all the way back to plato plato does an analysis of democracy and he says in a democracy the people look around and they say hey there's a lot more of us then there are the rich people will redistribute the wealth this is always been a concern throughout there the rebirth of democracy in the late eighteenth century nineteenth century how does the wealthy elite keep its power while extending formal
power to the people and it's very interesting as long as the system is delivering the goods ok well apparently this is the united way it's not delivering the content with that but it's not delivering the goods of the howard if i exactly if i actually was doing this explosion of discontent let me go to howard in new york i mean i could just play from what david had to say here is that it is democracy fictitious right now as it is complete as works with capitalism because it seems like to me that. often democracy is just a legitimize factor a cover for the kind of economic system we have right now and the kind of inequality that we are seeing. hi i have to respectfully disagree ok i still think that they're not democratic free market capitalism gives people the best chance for both economic freedom and for political freedom because people have that chance they can organize they can get together they can vote we have any many number of
times that that's happened no i do agree that there are real problems now and i think particularly in the united states you do have a system where money plays a disproportionate role in the political process and a lot of elected officials have to spend more than half their time raising money and it makes them i think overly dependent on the special interests but i do think that democratic free market that democracy and capitalism are compatible they were compatible from the very beginning the founders saw it john locke sought some of the original thinkers behind it saw it and so i i believe that we have to work on ways of reforming the system and i think during crises the system comes under strain we saw it in the thirty's we saw it in the sixty's and early seventy's and we're seeing it now but i believe that out of it will come reforms that will make it better but still not ok well i mean where did you richard if i go do you want to know where is the impetus for reform here i mean because the rich just keep getting
richer and it's quite interesting people to call themselves capitalists like the status quo they don't want things to change because they just want to protect their wealth it's not in for a really ideological it's very material isn't it. true but i think the impetus for reform will come because the situation so so eventually there will be huge pressure to kind reforms and appease i mean trench special interest it's very difficult every time you try and reform there's always huge resistance so if you try and reform say that the banking system in this cozy relationship between central banks and the and the major private banks that cause the credit crunch this is going to be hugely difficult to reforms i mean like this but the point is these economic crises at a time when radical change will actually happen ok david i mean i what you have great eyebrows ok i don't know if you're disagreeing or agreeing go ahead because i you know i get the sense you're not agreeing with what we're hearing right now. well i think the problem is deeper than just the crisis of democracy i think what
we're seeing is a real crisis of capitalism. i think. for a long time for the twentieth century certainly the nineteenth century the capitalist class had a rational core to it people that were concerned about keeping the system as a whole functioning and solving the problems that exist and so on i think right now we are in such a crisis that the rational capitalists really don't see any solution to these problems they don't see how we're going to solve this problem of increasing increasing increasing unemployment it's clear that when you start talking about oh scary as a solution to an economic problem which means laying people off making people in more insecure they're not going to be able to buy as many goods as they could before it's only going to be making things worse and in addition i think they see we've got this global ecological relation as well as like the i mean i think the rational capitals have just given up and are stuck clearly decided letting the
crazy every region or foreign company what about howard schultz of starbucks there you know what about warren buffett what about howard schultz of starbucks there are many many people who are who are quite wealthy who are saying yes i do want to pay more tax raise my taxes so that so that we can have a fairer society so that we can maintain the programs we need so that we can get the country moving again i think obviously there are plenty of people that you describe but i think to sort of put this whole generalization on the capitalist class i think is very simplistic ok david you want to do you want to reply i know go ahead richard you want to reply to what we just i mean to richard the rational that's very much going to rear it's going to reach out in london go ahead go ahead they're making a mistake here because of course we don't have anything like free market capitalism in the west and so government take spend each and i makes up around the economy and then you've got all the you the regulations. very long way from free market capitalism and if we start talking about fairness and even more redistribution
we're just going to kill off the whole system of free markets we're going to destroy private property we're going to destroy the wellsprings of prosperity so i think this is a lot of very dangerous talk right now would you want to jump in there before we go to the break go ahead well as far as free market capitalism the reason we don't have free market capitalism is because laissez faire capitalism doesn't work it led us to the great depression and we're seeing it now laissez faire capitalism simply means there's no restrictions on how wealthy the wealthy how much wealth the wealthy can accumulate and then people are surprised when you have this massive inequality of wealth and that wealth and infiltrates. going to. continue our discussion on capitalism and democracy state party.
from los angeles to chicago to birmingham twenty trauma centers have closed since two thousand seven hundred one is not enough inpatient beds not on the third emergency department that's not enough nurses some nando's that's to take care of all the people who need the only real health care system that we have in the city of los angeles is the los angeles fire department in fact when i started my venture is a firefighter i didn't want to turn it around so i started out going to just do fire fighting it's about eighty two percent of what we do the fire the problem this medical but that a rescue couple weeks ago waited four hours for it i've waited sometimes three hours but i was it's a same francis in the room with her for hours and fifty minutes standing against a wall and we have a federal law that mandates that you can't turn no one away six care in the emergency room.
we have the most expensive health care system in the world and it's probably in value the least. wealthy british style. sometimes. the. market. find out what's really happening to the global economy for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines to name two crimes a record. store. welcome back to cross talk i'm curious about remind you we're discussing whether capitalism and democracy are still compatible. and can
still. ok howard if i can go to you i mean looking at the reform of capitalism and how it relates to democracy how can we continue with privatizing profits while socializing risk because for if we want to use a term count clap calculus class or the system or whatever that seems to be the status quo right now too big to fail the rich people are saved and everyone else is left to fend for themselves and that's exactly what it looks like right now in north america and in the eurozone. well a lot of people feel that way but i think we ought to differentiate between the banking and financial system and the and the larger economy because i think there's a lot of interesting innovation going on in the larger economy that i think is extremely beneficial and i going to look at apple as an example and i know there's a downside to some of that of course but i think the banking system in particular really went way out of control and i think there was not enough regulation of the banks so that was very very clear and they basically became too big to fail and
took of the system with them however there are some very quiet changes i think dodd frank is really going to create some teeth and regulating the banks and making them take on more capital and the basel three international agreement is making banks take on a lot more capital too and we're seeing in europe a lot of the problems with that because these banks are worried that they're not going to be able to raise enough capital to still remain in good shape but they are being put under a very stricter regimen and they are not going to be allowed to do so i mean how would how this tragedy see how this is to create a rash opinion not enough how does that affect the average person all of the things you just mentioned ok how is that going to create employment because this is what people are protesting against i don't know if it will create employment you know i think that is what's the point of employment situation comes very well the point of it is because we don't want them to take the system down again like they did before and we don't want them to have a disproportionate scale of the national wealth we need to rebalance the economy
and i think some of those steps are very important in doing that i think on the employment situation there are some very important structural factors here number one globalization the rise of china and india has been a major factor and i think technology has changed things dramatically so that jobs that used to be done by people are now being done by machines these are big problems that we need to address and i think the way we need to address them is to increase the education of people and maybe change the culture so that education and technological awareness are ruled. warded and and really a liar by the population like they are in parts of asia ok if i go to richard here can you have a very strict ok ok i know i know what you're thinking david but i go to richard first. when you have a very strong democracy when there is so much inequality when it comes to income because it's getting worse and worse we haven't seen these levels since the start of the great depression well let's call this in historical perspective i mean even the poorest people are far far richer than they were say fifty or one hundred years
ago so free market capitalism to the extent it's been allowed to operate has been hugely successful at lifting people out of poverty and so i think really people are sensible enough when they decide when they want to look take a longer view and especially in some of these countries like ireland where they've had recent booms and even despite the current crisis make you better off than they were twenty or thirty years ago so let's look at a longer perspective and also let's look at the terrible alternatives to cuts alyson so disasters we've had when socialism has been an accident soviet russia or china so that's where we've got to look at what are the alternatives ok david what are the alternatives go ahead. well i think it's about bad and that's what i've been spent most of my academic life writing about how you could have a viable democratic economy and economic democracy extending democracy into the workplace expanding democracy into investment priorities and things like that but
back to the crisis i think it's a mistake to say the crisis is due to the financial sector the financial sector is a symptom of the problem the fundamental problem partly is globalization and technology those are really crucial things but if you look at wages and productivity you see that since the postwar period productivity has been going steadily up about one thousand nine hundred seventy five wages went up to real wages and they've been flat since then and even declining you've got this gap between what workers have what is being produced how did the workers then buy these goods well the capitalist class decided we don't want to pay them wages will loan them the money will grant them credit cards will grant them home equity loans and so on and so forth so you get this massive financial bubble developing but the problem is technology and the problem is technology and and that is i don't see any solution to within the framework of capitalism and that is this issue of
unemployment marks pointed out long ago that technology tends to the capitalists have an incentive to replace labor by labor saving technology the assumption that the free marketeers always have his will but ultimately those people will just find other jobs or if we just educate them then they will find other jobs the problem is those jobs are not being created the capitalist system got our huge boost in the twentieth century by accident there were new technologies that came along massively transformative technologies that also employed massive numbers of people think of the automobile industry that came. along and should build cars you had to build an interstate highway system you had to set up gas stations all over the place nothing like that's on the horizon so you're saying there's dollars limits wonderful ok going to be rewarded for not creating jobs our jump and yet in the united states we
had twenty two million jobs created in the nineteen ninety's so in our recent history there's a time when we did create jobs i think there are some major strike agree with you there are some major structural factors that need to be addressed but i don't think we can go back to the days of the of the auto industry when it was just starting i mean we were just not at that level we have to find a way to get our population in the advanced countries trained and ready to add high value added. labor and contribution to innovation that's where our future lies we can't go back to having to having textile mills and having things like that that that employed a large number of people who are unskilled richard if i go to you and i want to. go back. yeah well i think that's also i think that's the wrong direction all right the problem is the politicians and bureaucrats they don't know what the future's going to hold so to say that they can somehow plan what they train people in a dangerous strategy and it's likely to lead to
a huge rise but going back to what david was saying i think he's completely wrong about the trajectory of western economies i actually was destroyed the income growth in western economies and the huge growth of the state since the one nine hundred sixty s. so governments now spending government spending now roughly half the economy in most western countries a huge increase in regulation it's not surprising that incomes of stagnated in this context. ok david you want to do you want to jump in there and where it could be huge growth of the states stop it started back in the one nine hundred forty s. with world war two and continued on into the seventy's and eighty's and that was the most glorious sheen time of capitalism this was capitalism is golden age when you had massive state involved in setting up welfare programs building the interstate highway system and so on but the fundamental problem with capitalism now you know we don't want to go back to the horse and buggy days we've got to have a system that will give us more redistribute this labor saving so that we have less
hours that we have to work we have shorter time more free time there's nothing in the structure of free market capitalism that will translate increased productivity into more leisure time for everybody it translates it into more and more unemployed people in those that still have their jobs having to work harder and harder than ever because they're more insecure than ever ok how many want to go to because i want to i don't want to gentlemen i don't want to forget the element of democracy in this program so i want to go to howard here do you think that the democracy in the united states and a maybe richard talk about the u.k. is strong enough to make change the way elites run society in culture in society because you know a lot of people would say when you look at the financial crisis of two thousand me who went on trial for that mess who who's been punished for what happened ok it just all papered over and everyone's bailed out and the result is catastrophic for tens of millions of people but the system protects itself is a democracy strong enough for the united states to make people be held accountable
for what happened in what is happening. well it's a good question and i totally agree with you on that point that i think not enough of the finance years were held accountable i mean there are obviously legal issues involved but it's hard for me to believe that nobody nobody could have been charged and brought to trial for some of these things i do think though that there are mechanisms here and there are very very difficult changes very difficult and i do agree there are a lot of entrenched interests that prevent change but i think we've seen some examples where there has been some mobilization one example in the states of wisconsin and ohio republican governors came in last year and imposed draconian changes on public service unions the unions mobilized that they got people together they went through door to door with petitions they got recall elections on the ballot and they were they had some success in wisconsin and now they are trying to overturn a lot of the changes in ohio and their chances look pretty good so i think there
are some examples we've seen i it's a very big very difficult thing to do but i do think it's ok richard prime minister cameron didn't want to have a referendum on. pulling out of the euro's out of the european union excuse me while two thirds of the populated voting population and britain would like to have that kind of vote why that's another example where democracy doesn't work because it's the interests of big business and banks that are being served first and foremost well i'm not sure that's strictly true if you look at most western countries then they spend huge amounts of tax thinking on welfare states and it's not clear exactly how the welfare states actually helps bankers in the bridge i also think it's wrong to consistently blame the bankers for the economic crisis that enough looking at the symptoms rather they seem to benefit the most from this crisis haven't they i mean they've rebounded well a lot of. a lot of bank shareholders have been completely wiped out with
a lot of these banks be nationalized and so on so they certainly haven't benefited but the actual major cause of actually the central banks and governments flooding the markets with liquidity in the early two thousand has actually really is also to the state that's really responsible the state's responsibility for the crisis not a lot of the regulations on the financial sector are completely counts risk for yourself and i find it very hard to believe that only the government is responsible for this kind of a i mean look this is a very complex crisis for many years in the making and i do agree that a lot of government policies contributed to it but that only gets you to two thousand and six you don't get to two thousand and eight without the big banks like goldman sachs. i wish we had more time this is how easy my hair is going these are we run out of time gentlemen we've run out of time many thanks to my guests today in chicago new york and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are deep seated next time and remember us talking will. take.